The CEO of Maybank Investment, Fad’l Mohamed is a member of the FINCO Board of Directors. He has just embarked on a meaningful journey as an online mentor for a student from SMK Padang Tembak. We spoke to him to find out what motivates him and what skills, traits and values mentors may need to support students in making decisions about their futures.
1. What motivated you to become a FINCO Mentor?
My wish as a FINCO Mentor is to attract more youths to enter the finance industry and consider a career path in banking – and investment banking in particular!
As an institution, what we would like to see is more capacity and development of talent. Having a large and competent talent pool is essential, and the youths today will drive the industry’s future growth.
I am very fortunate to be where I am today, so I am looking forward to impart what I have learned by mentoring the youth. I hope this will go a long way towards my mentee’s personal and professional development.
2. Did you have a mentor in your life? How did they inspire you in your career journey?
I did not have formal mentors, but I am grateful for the guidance given to me by very experienced and talented individuals that I have met in my career.
Many years ago, I worked on a transaction with a very seasoned corporate figure. He generously provided his insights on technical and negotiation skills, looking at issues and situations, and how to think through problems in an analytical way. This helped in my own development and was a stepping stone for me.
With the FINCO Mentor programme, I hope to be able to formalise and emulate this learning relationship with my mentee.
3. What are the key skills needed to be a good mentor?
I think it is very important to be able to think from the lens of the individual that you are mentoring. You need to be able to understand the aspirations and the thought process of the mentee. This is because not everyone is the same.
As a mentor, it is equally important to be able to share my experiences to the individual as a reflection of what’s coming ahead. It is like driving a car; you’re driving forward but you still have to look in the rear view mirror.
When the mentee knows and understands the key success traits he or she needs to possess, it will already give them a good head start. By sharing my own experiences, I hope it will give some perspective to the mentee to think about what he or she wants to do in life. In the end, it is their life and the choice is for them to make.
4. What do you hope your mentee will get out of the mentoring process?
I hope that from this process, they will be able to develop positive values and attributes that will stay with them. Having the right principles and integrity are crucial; they should aspire to not only have a good career, but also to give back and contribute to society in a meaningful way. These traits will guide them in making better decisions, and the right decisions, at work as well as in life.
5. Do you think you have to be in a leadership position to mentor students, or could anyone in the Financial Industry take on a mentoring role?
Mentoring is not just about being in a leadership position; it is also about having the interest in developing and guiding people. Some people may also be willing to share a lot more than others.
But the relationship should also be a two-way street; this can be a learning process for both mentee and mentor. Again, having the right values is key.
I think in my life, if I am able to be a positive influence to one or two individuals and guide them to be able to achieve C-suite capabilities, or be a successful professional or entrepreneur and become successful in life, I think I will have achieved something worthwhile. So that is important.
We thank Fad’l for taking the time to answer these questions and hope this inspires you to become mentors and shape the aspirations of the students.
To get involved, email Anne at [email protected].